Turkish Airstrikes Scorch Northern Iraq Christian Villages

07/18/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) –  Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq began a fire on July 6, with firefighters unable to adequately address the burning due to security concerns access the location. The area near the Christian village of Upper Hazanke was included in the blaze.

Turkish airstrikes scorched 1033 acres of land in the first five months of 2021 and 14,018 acres in the past 10 years, according to the head of media for Dohuk’s Forest Police and Environment Directorate. This does not include at least 750 acres from a June fire as a result of airstrikes near five populated villages. As Turkey continues its bombardment of northern Iraq and the PKK, remote Christian villages bear the brunt of the attacks.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has condemned Turkey’s attacks on Christian villages, though strikes have increased since April 23 when the latest operation began. Christians face displacement, destruction of homelands, and insecurity.

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